Sunday , November 29 2020

Millions of Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers marched in several towns

Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers continue to demand government to hold those attacking the church with impunity accountable. They also opposed politically motivated areas to break up the church along the ethnic line.

Ethiopia _ Orthodox Church
Ethiopian Church followers protesting in Bahir Dar. Photo credit: EBC

September 22, 2019

Exactly a week after tens of millions of Ethiopian church followers took to the streets in several cities in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, an even bigger protest has happened across several cities in the region.

State media, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) reported on Sunday that tens of hundreds of faithful followers marched in the streets of Bahir Dar (the seat of the Amhara regional state) demanding an end to an orchestrated attack on the Ethiopian church.

Debre Markos, Debre Berhan, Woldia, Bichena, Fenote Selam, Bure, Debarq and Enjibara, among others, have seen Massive protests in the defense of the Ethiopian church.

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (also known as Ethiopian Church) followers demanding government to hold those who attack the church accountable. Photo: EBC

"Bring perpetrators of attacks on churches and worshipers before law and hold them responsible," is among the slogans that demonstrators chanted as they marched on the Streets.

Protesters also expressed the view that the Ethiopian church has contributed a lot for Ethiopia in history and the move to attack the Ethiopian church amounts to a move to destroy the history of Ethiopia.

As well, Protesters opposed what they call are politically motivated to move to divide the ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church along ethnic lines.

It is now public that the group led by Kesis Belay Mekonnen emerged within the church demanding an ethnic Oromo church administration in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, which includes many political pundits to relate to the Radical Oromo ethnic nationalist movement.

The Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church convened an emergency meeting to discuss the ultimatum Laden demands from the group in the capital Addis Ababa about a fortnight or so ago.

The Synod issued a statement after the meeting and Condemned by Kesis Belay Mekonnen's move to divide the church on the alleged grounds of expanding service in ethnic Oromo language. The church also stated that it has been serving worshipers in their own language and is also stepping up their efforts to do more in that direction.

Protesters in Bahir Dar and other towns reflected on the Ethiopian church's commitment to serve followers in their own language.

Translation of one of the slogans Protesters carried reads something like "A church worshiping a God that Unveiled 72 languages ​​has never opposed church service in different languages," but they opposed to break up the church along ethnic lines.

The Archbishop of Bahir Dar Diocese, Abune Abraham, recalled the Reunification of the Ethiopian Patriarchate which was divided as Diaspora based and one that is based in Ethiopia, and a call for government to play a role to help maintain the Unity of the Church.

As well, they urged the followers of the church to vigilantly follow up with messages that are relevant to the Unity of the country.

Last week, similar demonstrations took place in Dessie, Gondar, Debretabor, Meket, Kombolcha, Nefas Mewucha, Mekane Eyesus, Mekane Selam and Belesa.

In a span of a little over a year between July 2018 and August 2019, well over a dozen Ethiopian Churches were burned and dozens of worshipers killed including priests and deacons. And the Killings of Priests and Deacons were, in most cases, horrifying as they were burned to death.

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